Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The UK NSC policy on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening in men over 65
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The UK NSC decided that AAA screening could be offered to men aged 65, provided that the men invited were given clear information about the risks of elective surgery, and that steps were taken to create networks of vascular surgical services to allow further specialisation, bigger throughput and therefore lower risk, because of the evidence relating to volume and quality. A working group has been set up to resolve these issues. Version 3.0 of the Standard Operating Procedures were published in July 2011.
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What is screening?
Screening is a process of identifying apparently healthy people who may be at increased risk of a disease or condition. They can then be offered information, further tests and appropriate treatment to reduce their risk and/or any complications arising from the disease or condition.
It is important to ensure that the benefits and downsides of screening have been properly thought through. The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) is responsible for reviewing screening policies every 3 years and making recommendations to ministers in the 4 UK countries about whether to not a screening programme for a certain condition should be set up.
» Find out more about screening, the role of the UK NSC or the policy review process
More about Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An aneurysm occurs when part of an artery swells. It is caused by a damaged blood vessel or a weakness in the blood vessel wall. The pressure of blood in the artery causes it to 'balloon' out at the weak point. The swelling can be small and spherical (berry-sized), normally occurring near blood vessel branches, or it can be larger and balloon-like. Large aneurysms may also extend along the arteries. Aneurysms can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most common on the wall of the aorta, the largest artery in the body.
» Read more about abdominal aortic aneurysms on NHS Choices
Screening in the UK
Compare how screening is offered across the UK.
• British Heart Foundation
• British Medical Ultrasound Society
• Cardio & Vascular Coalition
• Circulation Foundation
• Royal College of Radiologists
• Royal College of Surgeons
• Royal Society of Medicine
• Society for Vascular Technology
• Society of Vascular Nurses
• Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed.
If you think your organisation should be added, please
More about the policy review process, including the role of stakeholders,
can be found in the guide to Engaging with the UK NSC's policy review process.
AAA policy review summary (Nov 2005) (PDF document, 80KB, 03/06/11)
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